Thursday, 18 November 2021
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Overseas Development Aid
33. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which Ireland’s overseas aid programme bilateral and multilateral continues to meet the needs of the populace in the various locations for which it is intended with particular reference to the need to alleviate starvation and human rights abuses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56456/21]
Ireland's Official Development Assistance (ODA), is directed through multilateral and bilateral channels, to countries and people who are in greatest need. There is a specific emphasis across our work on addressing hunger and ensuring human rights are met. This is reflected in A Better World, Ireland's international development policy, which identifies food as a key area for intervention, and asserts our intention to reach those that are furthest behind first in all our work.
Our ability to follow-through on these commitments in practice is evident in, for example, the high proportion of Irish Aid funding which targets least developed and low income countries. Where the average DAC member's bilateral allocation to these countries is just under one quarter, half of Irish ODA is bilateral aid to low income and least developed countries. Irish ODA also places a strong emphasis on fragile contexts, where the scourge of hunger is most prevalent. In 2020, Ireland spent more than €193 million on projects that addressed hunger.
Our commitment to, and ability to deliver on, a needs-based allocation of development assistance is also internationally recognised. In 2020, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) highlighted Ireland as "an excellent humanitarian partner", with its funding models a "useful inspiration for other DAC donors".
Last year, the respected international think-tank ODI assessed the characteristics of ODA expenditure in leading donors and found Ireland to be the most principled donor, noting specifically Ireland's needs-based approach.
Nearly one-tenth of the world’s population, or over 800 million people, are undernourished. During September’s Food Systems Summit, Ireland played a key role in championing action on hunger, and particularly the most severe form of malnutrition- wasting.
Ireland is also championing a human-rights based approach to hunger, through our work at the UN Security Council on Resolution 2417 on hunger and conflict, as well as at the EU, UN and Council of Europe.